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Forgotten Danish philosopher K E. Løgstrup

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Very little attention has been paid to Danish philosopher Knud Ejler Løgstrup in the English-speaking word until recently. His philosophical interests focused on three strains in particular: ethics, phenomenology, and theological philosophy.He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen from 1923 until 1930, though was inclined towards the philosophical aspects of the subject. He studied with Martin Heidegger, who greatly contributed towards the field of phenomenology. The phenomenological movement was a significant influence on Løgstrup’s early reading, along with Kant, Edmund Husserl, Max Scheler, Heidegger himself, and Søren Kierkegaard.He met his wife, Rosalie Maria Pauly, a German fellow student during his time at Freiburg. From 1936-43 he worked as a Lutheran Pastor, and in 1943, a year after his dissertation critiquing idealist epistemology was accepted, he became a professor of ethics and philosophy of religion in the theology faculty at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. Shortly after he joined the Danish resistance. The insurgency arose during World War II to rise against the Nazi occupation of Denmark.Academics often compare the work and philosophies of Løgstrup and Emmanuel Levinas. While they held similar views, they didn’t always align. Løgstrup’s ethics focused on responsibility rather than command ethics, whereas Levinas seemed to situate himself between the two. What distinguished Løgstrup from other standard philosophers of ethics and religion was that he was concerned with pinpointing where philosophy required theology, and vice versa. Løgstrup connected these through concepts of ethics which included radical ethical demand and the gift of life.His first major piece of writing,The Ethical Demand (1956), explored in detail the radical ethical demand concept. For Løgstrup, there is only human morality, not Christian and secular morality. Despite having much in common with Kierkegaard’s philosophy, this drifted away from traditional. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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